Atlanta Urges Tactical Urbanism To Speed Up Vision Zero Goals

The city's department of transportation has released a guide to help community groups implement low-cost 'tactical urbanism' projects.

1 minute read

March 11, 2022, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

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Alan Kidd / Shutterstock

Atlanta is encouraging community groups to use 'tactical urbanism' interventions to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety at the hyper-local level. As Jason Plautz describes in Smart Cities Dive, "Betty Smoot-Madison, mobility planning director for the Atlanta Department of Transportation, said the tactical urbanism projects are a 'lower-cost and shorter-term' way to meet the city’s overarching goal of 'reimagining and re-engineering our roads around people.'"

'Tactical urbanism' refers to low-cost, temporary, infrastructure interventions by community organizations or other local actors that address street safety, walkability, and mobility issues. The updated guide adds six project options to the city's 2020 tactical urbanism guide: "tactical slip lane closures, demonstration bike lanes, tactical bus stop enhancements, pedestrian space art and lane narrowing." The temporary projects could lead to permanent changes if successful, according to Smoot-Madison.

"The projects also help engage community members around their own priorities; while the city may have to focus on high-traffic corridors and major streets, neighborhood groups have a better sense of the dangers at local intersections that may receive less attention."

Other cities have implemented similar initiatives. "Denver, for example, has launched the vision zero community program to encourage traffic calming and public art. Columbus, Ohio, has used temporary bollards and painting to test design changes at dangerous intersections."

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